Monday, May 30, 2011

Whimsical Wednesday - Back to Basics Challenge

I am still not challenged out,  I am just enjoying creativity to the max!  I have been super-creative this weekend working on some items for an upcoming class, designing for "The Company Kit" (my LSS's store kit), and trying my hand at some challenges I saw on the web.  What's been great is that I'm actually using my stash . . . and I've been pulling out tools I've not used in quite some time . . . embossing powder, heat gun, stamps, inks . . . I feel creatively productive for a change.

And so I finally get to try my hand at one of the Whimsical Wednesday Challenge which was "Back to Basics."  The challenge was to create a card/project that was "Cricutless" (not a problem because I don't use my Cricut often enough).  We also needed to use some type of "old school" embellishment.

Well, you can't get much more old school then paper, ribbon, rubber stamp, ink, markers and staples.  In fact . . . let's talk about the stapler.  I was the kid in the family who always hogged the family stapler back in the 70's.  I would make staple designs in paper . . . and get in trouble for using too many staples.  I think I was in heaven when I bought not just my very own stapler for my little white desk in my bedroom, but a whole entire box of staples just for me!  And I think I was in heaven the day staplers entered the world of scrapbooking . . . I was using them way back in the day! 

So that's what I went for . . . 

These challenges are keeping me hopping (ha . . . little frog in the card . . . hopping . . . get it?).

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Peachy Keen Stamps Challenge

And yes . . . another challenge for the day . . . getting in under the wire on the Peachy Keen Stamps Challenge - Sketch #52 which is to create a card based on the provided sketch . . .

O.K. . . I had way to much fun with this one!  I used some scrap paper I found in my stash, and matched my flower to the flower in the print of the paper (if you look close, there are little tiny daisies.

My die cuts all started white, and I colored them with markers.  I am suddenly in love with cutting all white and coloring with whatever I have on hand . . . and this time it was my Copic Markers.

I have repeatedly said that I need to use those Peachy Keen stamps more often because they really do make me smile!

The Scraproom May Word Challenge . . . PARTY

Another May Challenge from The Scraproom!  The challenge was to use product from their May kit and use the word "party" somewhere on the layout. 

A few old photos I found of my girls hanging out together and with some friends . . .

The Scraproom May Sketch Challenge - THE BOSS

The Scraproom has a monthly sketch challenge, and while I don't get all of their kits, I was given a series of months as a gift.  I decided to participate in a few of their challenges . . . nothing like trying to get some of my photos into a scrapbook! 

In November of 2009, my husband and I spent the weekend at a gorgeous hotel in New York City.  We had tickets to a New York Ranger game . . . wandered the city all weekend . . . and we even took a little jaunt over to Hoboken, New Jersey . . . home of Carlo's Bakery . . . where TLC's Cake Boss is filmed.  I was super excited to have the chance to meet Buddy and have my photo taken with him.  What a great trip.  So the papers in the May Kit, from Jillibean Soup, were perfect for a little layout of our trip. 

Here is the layout . . .

And here is the sketch . . . 

And I even created a second page for the additional photos that we took on that day.  

What a yummy journey!

June Company Kit . . . Scrapping Summer Memories

I created a little something for the June Company Kit from my LSS, New England Scrapbook Co.  They put out a new "Company Kit" each month . . . coordinating patterned papers, cardstock, ribbon, and embellishments . . . and their designers make all sorts of layouts, cards, and 3-D artsy things to inspire.  They also have an add-on kit to stretch out your creativity.  June will be our sixth one, which is pretty exciting . . . especially since the May Company Kit is SOLD OUT! 

June's kit will be full of summer paper and embellishments.  I created two layouts . . . here is just one of them . . . 

And then I created a couple of cards, and here is just one of them . . . 

And with even more product remaining, I made a little 4 1/2 x 6 1/2" book . . . but I forgot to take a photo of the little bugger!  

Matchy, matchy product that comes in a box . . . what can be better?  Check out the photo gallery at:

Monday, May 23, 2011

Rain, Rain . . . Go Away

I normally like a rainy day once in a while, but lately it's been about the rain every single day.  Seems appropriate that I post my Spring Rain layout which was a Designer Series Kit that I put together for my LSS, New England Scrapbook Co.  I designed it way before the rains came . . . perhaps it was a sign.  I do believe in signs.

So what's the movie that talks about believing in signs?  Anyone?

The main character in the movie gives a speech to her mom about how she doesn't believe in signs, and moments later goes to hug her mom and rips the wedding gown she is trying on and says . . . "It's a sign." to which her mom replies, "You don't believe in signs."

It's one of my favorite movies!  It is also a movie that is plagued with much rain . . . taking place in three locations . . . Baltimore, Chicago and Seattle . . . "It rains nine months a year in Seattle."

And what woman doesn't want to get a diamond ring placed on her finger, hearing those treasured words from her future spouse . . . "It was my grandmother's. I had them size it down. She had really fat fingers."  

Indeed . . . Sleepless in Seattle!  One of my favorites. 

What's that noise out my window . . . more rain!  I will go to sleep and dream of the sunshine!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Meet Jennyanydots . . . another of the "Paws"

So here is another one of the many "paws" that I scrap . . . Jennyanydots.  

Her name comes from the musical, CATS.  It was the summer that my oldest daughter, Tracy, was going into 5th grade.  She was spending her summer doing youth theater, playing the role of Jennyanydots in CATS.  Her sister wanted a new kitten, and a friend had called to say she had a number of feral kittens, and that she had caught one for us.  It was a fitting name, as the lyrics go . . .

        When the day's hustle and bustle is done
        Then the gumbie cat's work is but hardly begun
        And when all the family's in bed and asleep
        She tucks up her skirts to the basement to creep

And then there is . . .

        I have a gumbie cat in mind, her name is Jennyanydots
        Her equal would be hard to find, she likes the warm and sunny spots
        All day she sits beside the hearth or on the bed or on my hat
        She sits and sits and sits and sits--and that's what makes a gumbie cat
        That's what makes a gumbie cat

Of course, what other name would we choose?  Although, truth be told, until we knew for sure that Jennyanydots was a Jennyanydots, a quick vet check-up could have easily made her . . . or perhaps I mean "him" a Mister Mistoffelees. 

My daughter is 25 years old, which makes Jennyanydots quite the senior citizen of the household at 15 years old.  She has always been an absolute sweet girl, and that has not changed.  She has just a squeak of a meow now . . . still likes warm sunny spots . . . and still sits and sits and sits!  On those late nights when I am working on some pages or cards, she will venture into my craft room and sit on any box or pile that she can . . . and that is precisely what she is doing in the photo above.  Always under my left elbow . . . she sits and sits and sits . . .

That's apparently what makes a gumbie cat!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Challenged by the Challenges

In my quest over the last few weeks to do more challenges, I've gotten myself a bit confused.

You see, I'm a die cut hoarder.  I'm a ribbon hoarder.  I'm a stamp hoarder.  O.K., and then there is the paper and the embellishments.  Whatever!  I'm a crafter . . . it's what we do.

So here's the deal . . . I was trying to make a card for a challenge, and I seemed to have forgotten who the challenge was with, and I guess I messed up a bit and used the wrong company.  And there it is . . . the girl who is about to turn 50 is surely losing her mind.

But it's a great card . . . just not challenge worthy of anything on my list of possible challenges at this moment.  It was a cross between a challenge for Unity Stamp to emboss something, and then somehow I got it stuck in my head that I was doing something for Cottage Cutz (but it was merely because I was so excited that they just put out their first challenge.

So I did emboss, just used the wrong company.

Recipe . . .

 - Bazzill Cardstock and Kaiser Pattern Paper from my LSS, New England Scrapbook Co
 - Sizzix Embossing Folder (leaf print) from my LSS
 - American Crafts Ribbon from my LSS
 - Cottage Cutz Bug Die Cut w/Peachy Keen Stamped
   (I did a heat emboss on the wings . . . so shiny)
 - My Creative Time "My Favorite Sayings" for the sentiment
 - Ink and Markers . . . whatever you've got (I used Staz-on and Copics)

So fun!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Meet One of the Paws

I have this blog called Paws to Scrap . . . because I love to scrapbook my pets.  But I rarely post pictures of my pet layouts these days, and lately I rarely scrapbook my own photos.  I'm in this sort of "card challenge mode."

So I decided that it is ridiculous that I never post my pets on the blog, I don't know why because they are so much a part of my life (enough so that I included the word "paws" in my blog title).  I will introduce my little four-legged friends one at a time, starting with my bestie . . . Samantha.  

Meet Samantha!

Samantha is a cross between a shih tsu and a chihuahua.  She came to our family as my daughter's birthday present back in December of 1999, but she ended up as my bestie.  That's just how it worked out.  She is so smart and personable, and as my husband says, "She believes everything you say."  It's true, she really does. 

So hard to think of my little "baby girl" as 11 years old.  Here is a layout that I created a camping trip we took a few years back.  She enjoyed the trip . . . we shared a sleeping bag up in Maine!  I think she would rather have been home (in fact, she was a little stressed as we started out the journey in the car).

Still need to finish my journaling on this one.  She truly does color my world! 

Friday, May 13, 2011

Unity Stamp - Kit of the Month Sketch Challenge

Oh Unity Stamp . . . how do I love thee? 
All that red rubber in my mailbox each month . . . I look forward to your arrival. 

And I love that you're doing a sketch challenge, because I need a good challenge to keep me motivated.  And this was a great sketch!  I repeat . . . this was a great sketch!

I used the newest set . . . the awesome little city, and then punched with a scallop punch and included the "rise above it all" stamp.  I did some matchy, matchy work with some Bazzill Cardstock, Jillibean Soup paper, various markers and baker's twine. 

Let me say it again . . . great sketch!  Want to see it . . . go to the Unity Blog and check it out! 

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

OWH Sketch Challenge

And so another challenge comes my way . . . a way to use up the many, many scraps that I have in my possession.  Operation Write Home has a Sketch Challenge, always a great idea for using up my scraps.  You can find more information on their blog.  Here is a recent sketch (Sketch #67).

And so I reached for my "Box O'Manicured Scraps." Manicured, you ask?  Well yes . . . it is the scraps from past projects . . . instead of keeping them in a heaping pile, I trim them down to card size.  So, I do a scrapbook layout, and the extra pieces get trimmed into card parts . . . a/k/a manicured scraps.  Large pieces get trimmed to 8 1/2 x 5 1/2" for cards.  Then we trim to 4 x 5 1/4" for card fronts, or 4 x 4" for die cuts (which I keep in a separate box), etc.  Whatever works.  And anything smaller goes into a Bag O'Scraps.

This is hoarding scraps in an organized fashion!
So from my Bag and my Box I pulled some matching colors . . . and created a little something for the challenge. I mixed a lot of companies here . . . we have bits of Bazzill cardstock, American Crafts ribbon, Stampin' Up Tag Punches (smaller and larger) and Stampin' Up Tag Stamp, Close to My Heart pattern paper from a past project (I recognize it!  Isn't that a little bit CRAZY.), Close to My Heart ink to match the pattern paper, Clear and Simple stamp, and Copic Markers to color the boat.  It is a smorgasbord of  scrap product! 

And this card will be set aside and sent to Operation Write Home at some point down the road.

I love a little challenge!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Tweet, Tweet

I made a little something for the Unity Stamp Monthly Challenge, which was to make a card or other stamped project incorporating a bird or birds from a Unity Stamp set.

And so, I did just that . . . Tweet, Tweet!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

CASE Study Challenge #38

I wanted to inspire myself with a few challenges this weekend in celebration of National Scrapbooking Day (which was yesterday).  What better way to celebrate than to take all my layout scraps and try to create a card or two.  I found a few challenges, and I started with the CASE Study Challenge.  It is challenge #38 (to be exact).

THE CHALLENGE:  Create a paper crafting project (card, layout, off-the-page item), based on provided inspiration.

THE INSPIRATION from their Muse:

MY DESIGN AND RAMBLINGS . . . I rarely make vertical cards with a top fold, so that was the very first piece of inspiration I wanted to take from the design.  I wanted to "stamp" my stitching onto the card using an acrylic stamp, instead of pulling my machine out.  My intent was to then use a scallop circle in lieu of a doily, although that suddenly went by the wayside.  It is amazing how you start inspired with one idea, and you end up with another. I kept with the theme of flowers, buttons and twine . . . and here is my design (oh, I made a rhyme) . . .

Instead of a scallop circle, I went with a square of cardstock that I punched with a border punch.  It makes a nice little frame for my sentiment.  I pulled together some flowers, jewels, buttons and baker's twine, and a little "pick me up" card is born.

Great challenge!